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Briefing paper on biodiversity, rights and business open for public comment

Comments sought for briefing paper on biodiversity, human rights and business in Myanmar.

By Reporters

Yangon, March 8, 2018

Myanmar Times

The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) in Yangon is now inviting comments on its briefing paper on biodiversity, human rights and business in Myanmar. Input is welcome until April 22. The centre is also hosting a consultation in Yangon on March 20 for stakeholders to attend.

The briefing paper, prepared by Sally Johnson from Fairfields Consulting, is part of MCRB’s work on biodiversity, human rights and business funded by the Helmsley Trust. It aims to raise awareness among businesses, civil society and government, particularly regulators, of how business activities in Myanmar affects biodiversity and how this is linked to human rights, and in particular the right to livelihoods. It links closely to the need for an effective system of environmental regulation, including strategic environment assessments and environmental impact assessments (EIA).

The paper covers the issues generally but also has a particular focus on the oil and gas, mining, agriculture/plantation and tourism sectors which have been examined in MCRB’s sector-wide impact assessments.

The paper has several sections. Section 1 explains the ‘nexus’ between business, biodiversity and human rights, and the business case for addressing biodiversity and ecosystem services. Section 2 provides an overview of biodiversity in Myanmar, with emphasis on the biodiversity resources that are likely to be affected by private sector activities and the major threats to them.

Section 3 provides an overview of the policy and legal framework and institutional arrangements related to biodiversity and addresses compliance with biodiversity aspects of Myanmar’s environmental laws and regulations, including EIA. Section 4 looks at how Myanmar’s EIA process can be used by companies to improve outcomes for biodiversity and related human rights. Section 5 provides an overview of international standards, practices and tools and application of international good practices on biodiversity protection by businesses, including EIAs.

Organisations and companies interested in the topic are encouraged to send comments to inga.makusheva@myanmar-responsiblebusiness.org by April 22.

The MCRB will also hold a stakeholder consultation meeting on the draft briefing paper on March 20 in Yangon. After incorporating feedback, the paper will be finalised and published in May.

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